Hisham Zubari, GEO 2020 Chairman, shares what’s in store at GEO 2020 what lies ahead for the industry.
How important is GEO to the scientific community, and how is 2020 different to previous shows?
Since its inception in 1994, the GEO conference and exhibition has grown to become one of the major geosciences events in the region and beyond, providing a healthy platform for knowledge sharing, exchange and dissemination as well as an excellent opportunity to interact with major upstream companies, service providers and academia.
The show is conveniently held in the Kingdom of Bahrain which provides easy access for all countries in the region and the world to attend.
Most of the young professionals in the region have grown in their professions alongside the evolution of GEO conferences which have always provided them a platform to network and interact with peers and industry leaders and reputable companies to exchange knowledge and be up to date with the latest technologies in Geosciences and upstream.
GEO 2020 will address a new theme that was lightly addressed in previous GEO shows: Geosciences in the Digital World: 2020 and Beyond. The theme reflects the committees’ strongest belief that the advancement in the new cloud technologies, analytics, the ‘Internet of Things,’ artificial intelligence, Big Data Analytics, automation, and machine learning will provide geoscientists with powerful tools and opportunities in dealing with complex data to come up with better decisions with respect to optimizing production and maximizing reserves.
What is the significance of this year’s theme to the oil & gas industry?
The theme of GEO 2020; Geosciences in the digital era, addresses the value-added role which the 4th Industrial Revolution is going to play in the Geosciences area. The upstream industry in general and Geosciences, in particular, are yet to catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to integrating 4IR into the business.
The Executive and Technical committees of GEO 2020 which consist of reputable members representing reputable international companies have chosen this topic in order to shed light and bring focus to the opportunities the 4th Industrial Revolution brings to the field of Geosciences. Through this topic, we are aiming to build a new mindset and a conviction of the need for the industry to collaborate and invest time and money and resources in the fascinating field of AI for the good of the world.
How has GEO evolved in 2020 in terms of content, potential impact and outlook?
GEO 2020 is going to be different than the previous ones. The Executive and Technical program committees have taken a decision 2 years ago to widen the scope of the event and think outside the box in order to highlight the great roles which Geoscientists play not only in helping produce fossil fuel energy to the world but also, their role in other fields such as hydrology, mineralogy and sustainable geothermal energy. Furthermore, we have dedicated a session to highlight the role of Geosciences in other non-petroleum applications.
What challenges and opportunities lie ahead for the industry? How are these addressed at GEO 2020?
A main challenge we see for the industry is to effectively ride the 4.0 train. AI has proven to increase efficiency and lower cost and provide better health, safety and environment in the upstream sector. GEO 2020 will help explore and identify opportunities it provides for geoscientists to contribute to that. It is well recognized that upstream industry in general and geosciences in particular have been shy in adopting AI, however, this will change and we will reap the value of 4IR as long as we continue to provide platforms such as GEO2020 where experts can meet to exchange ideas, disseminate knowledge and share experiences and best practices, success stories as well as failures.
What disruptive technologies will be showcased?
The GEO 2020’s theme tackled Geosciences in the Digital World: 2020 and Beyond. It will focus on the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Geosciences. We believe that advancements in disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Machine Learning, automation in many sectors all over the world will have a positive impact on the field of Geosciences. cross-pollination of ideas between sectors will bring about fascinating solutions and concepts. GEO 2020 will showcase technical presentations as well as AI specialized plenary sessions and will host a good number of AI companies in the accompanying exhibition.
What new business opportunities does the event present?
For 26 years, the GEO exhibition and conference has been at the forefront of petroleum geoscience. GEO has fast become a next generation energy event, hosting major NOCs, IOCs, manufacturers, technology providers and service companies – all of whom play an active role in the global energy value chain.
GEO 2020 will host over 100 specialized companies from 20 countries ranging in services related to geosciences and artificial intelligence and others and will attract over 5000 visitors and so the show will provide great business opportunities.
Furthermore, GEO 2020, and for the first time, will provide a “business incubators” area for startup companies in the fields of Geosciences. this is a new value-added addition to the GEO shows.
Tell us about the technical sessions at GEO 2020? What topics will they cover?
GEO 2020 will have a whole new look compared to previous GEO shows. In addition to the conventional themes, GEO 2020 will address the role of AI in Geosciences, the role of Geosciences in the field of mineralogy, hydrology and delivering sustainable energy to the world such as through Geothermal Energy. This GEO 2020 we have a dedicated session on Geosciences applications in other fields than fossil fuels.
In total GEO 2020 will host over 400 presentations in 48 sessions and posters in addition to 6 plenary and special sessions addressing important themes and topics that are highly important to the Geoscientific community.
GEO 2020 is now mobile! Available in stores, get updates on the go, 24/7, wherever you are. View the full event schedule, create your own agenda, network and more from the palm of your hand.
Ask speakers a question and get answers during plenary sessions
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Mahmoud Abdulbaqi, retired Vice President of E&P at Saudi Aramco, and one of the founders of GEO, tells us about the evolution of GEO and his 28 years of experience nurturing the show.
I have attended and participated in the preparation of every GEO since its initiation in 1994. I was the Chairperson for the first edition and have been on the Executive Committee for every edition since then.
A Foundation of Volunteers
My gratitude goes out to every one of the many volunteers that helped make such a renowned event possible. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize a few individuals and organisations who contributed to the creation of this great event: Ibrahim al-Jallal, Moujahed al-Husseini, and Mahmoud Abdulbaqi from Saudi Aramco; the Dhahran Geosciences Society (DGS) in Saudi Arabia; Jaleel al-Samahiji from BAPCO in Bahrain and Peter Nederloff from PDO in Oman.
Every edition we see a great growth in the number of volunteers and organisations that support the event. Every one of these volunteers is greatly appreciated, but the names mentioned above are those who significantly contributed to the GEO initiation process.
Unique Middle East Focus
When I am asked to write or talk about a specific event, I focus on what was unique about the event, what distinguishes the event from all the others. I could focus on the outstanding development of GEO throughout the years in terms of the number of attendees and presentations but that would not do it justice, so I will emphasise the uniqueness of GEO.
GEO was created to fill a void in regional (and international) events. The aim was to bring focus on geosciences in the Middle East and its application to the region with an emphasis on the oil and gas industry. Since its start, GEO volunteers were able to maintain this uniqueness and develop a distinctive brand. The most important feature of GEO is the focus on the quality of the geosciences papers (both oral and posters). GEO attracts and brings together people from all around the globe. This uniqueness is recognised not only by the geosciences community in the region but also by members of the international geoscience community interested in the Middle East.
If you have any interest in the geosciences of the Middle East and its applications, GEO is a must attend conference. I personally attend around 6 professional conferences a year and GEO is always at the top of the list. See you there.
About the Author
Mahmoud Abdulbaqi became Chairman of the Board of Directors of ARGAS in 2004 following a highly successful 34 year career at Saudi Aramco, developing many of the largest oil reservoirs in the world. He held a number of highly influential positions, including Chief Exploration Geologist and Chief Production Geologist, as well as Vice President of Exploration and Vice President of Petroleum Engineering and Development. Mahmoud was a founder of the GEO conference in 1994 and still serves on the GEO Executive Committee today.
The GEO 2020 conference programme is now available to download. Discover an unmissable mix of panels, case studies, breakthrough technologies, courses, field trips, workshops and more – all designed to take you and your career into the next decade.
Programme at a glance
Young Professionals & Students Programme
New advances in geoscience and technology are on the horizon that will help in unlocking previously inaccessible or overlooked potential.
Geoscientists are slow in embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in the 4th Industrial Revolution – 4.0, but there are limitless potential ideas for applications.
Over 4,050 geoscientists from 53 countries converged in Bahrain at GEO 2018 for 4 days of strategic dialogue and business opportunities.
14 September: 17.00 – 18.30
15 September: 08.30 – 17.00
16 September: 08.30 – 17.00
17 September: 08.30 – 17.00
To see the full timings for conference and exhibition, click here
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